Local Environment of Iron and Uranium Ions in Vitrified Iron Phosphate Glasses Studied by Fe K and ULIII-edge X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure Spectroscopy
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The local structure of iron and uranium ions in a series of iron phosphate glasses with the general composition (40 - x)Fe2O3-xUO2-60P2O5 and (1-x-y)(40Fe2O3-60P2O5)-xUO2-y(Na2O or CaO) was investigated using Fe K-edge and U LIII-edge x-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy. Replacing Fe2O3 by UO2 in the glass caused more distortion in the coordination environment of Fe(III) ions. Extended x-ray absorption fine structure fits revealed that the Fe-P bonds observed in the base glass also existed in all the waste-loaded glasses. X-ray absorption near-edge structure showed that the uranium ions were predominantly present as U(IV) in the glasses. Uranium ions were coordinated to approximately 8 ± 1 oxygen atoms and 2.5 ± 0.6 phosphorus atoms at an average distance of 2.47 ± 0.02 and 3.8 ± 0.02 Å, respectively. There were no Fe-U or U-Fe neighbors observed, indicating that uranium ions occupied voids in the glass away from the PO4 units. These conclusions were supported by Mössbauer, x-ray photoelectron, and Raman spectroscopic data.